|Lawn and Garden Maintenance Checklist|
|June Lawn and Garden Maintenance Checklist|
· Get any remaining warm-season vegetables in the ground.
· Keep a close eye on the quality of your spring crops. Hot weather causes lettuce to bolt and become bitter. Plant a warm-season crop as soon as the spring vegetables are harvested.
· You can also plant vegetables in containers and grow them on decks, patios or other small spaces. Use potting mix when planting.
· Most trees and shrubs are sold in containers. If buying now, use care when planting, as the tree or shrub is often not as well rooted as later in season and you can damage roots when removing the container.
· Plant annual flowers in tubs or large containers for the porch or terrace. Make sure there are holes in the container’s bottom to provide good drainage.
· This is an excellent month to pick out a few new perennials to plant in the garden.
· Gladiola corms can still be planted for successive blooms.
· If needed, re-pot root bound houseplants to a larger pot. Use potting mix when repotting houseplants.
· As a rule of thumb on 1,000-square-feet of vegetable garden space, apply 25 pounds of 8-8-8 broadcast before land preparation; then sidedress each 100 feet of row with 2 quarts (4 pounds) of 8-8-8. Long-season crops like tomatoes, cabbage, pepper, okra and potatoes need more fertilizer than short-season crops. Experience and close observation are the best guides for additional sidedressing.
· Fertilize the lawn this month. Use a lawn fertilizer with a 3-1-2 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Except to centipede grass which will need 15-0-15.
· A split application of calcium nitrate or equivalent should be applied during the summer for newly-planted peach trees; ½ cup calcium nitrate in early-June and again in early-August.
· Roses will need to be fertilized each month through the summer.
· Feed houseplants with a good quality indoor plant food like Osmocote (slow-release granular).
· This is a good month for shearing, pinching or pruning junipers, cypress or conifers. If you’ve been cultivating a special living Christmas tree, sculpt it now.
· Prune suckers and water sprouts from all fruit trees.
· After natural fruit drop in late June, thin fruits on apple, pear and peach trees carefully to produce larger, better fruit. Peach trees need 50 to 75 leaves per fruit to manufacture food for both fruit production and tree maintenance. Apple trees need 30 to 40 leaves per fruit.
· Remove old flower heads from annual bedding plants to keep them blooming.
· Pinch your chrysanthemums to encourage them to be bushier and have more blossoms. Pinch them again, every 6 inches or so, as they grow until mid-July.
· Also continue to pinch back tall growing fall bloomers like asters, monarda and salvias.
· Make sure your climbing roses are securely tied into position and prune them after blooming.
· If you haven’t done so already, remove brown foliage from spring bulbs. Set out bedding plants to cover the bare spots using care not to damage the bulbs.
· Water is essential for a top-notch garden. During long, dry periods, soak the garden thoroughly once a week; don’t just sprinkle daily. This encourages a deeper root system which will later help the plants tolerate dry weather. Light, frequent irrigation will promote shallow roots and helps only during the period of seed germination.
· Check all newly-planted shrubs and trees for water on a regular basis. Irrigate deeply and thoroughly as needed.
· During the hot summer months, mulch can be especially useful for conserving water. For vegetable gardens, shredded leaves or grass clippings are good mulch material. For ornamentals, pine needles or wood bark do the best job.
· As potato plants begin to die back, reduce watering.
· Overhead irrigation, especially late in the afternoon, is likely to spread certain foliar diseases. If you use overhead irrigation, do so earlier in the day so plants can dry before night.
· As the weather dries out, your container-grown plants may need daily watering especially if the pots are exposed to drying sunlight.
· Summer is upon us! Although most of your planting may be done, your battle with pests – insects, diseases, weeds and wildlife – has just begun.
· Identify garden pests before you attempt to control them. If you decide to use a chemical control, read the label carefully.
· In most cases, blossom-end rot on tomatoes, peppers, squash and watermelons can be prevented by maintaining uniform soil moisture with mulching and watering correctly, planting in well-drained soil and not cultivating deeper than one inch within one foot of the plant. Also avoid the use of high-nitrogen fertilizers.
· The best practices in disease control are rotation, clean seed, resistant varieties (when available), early planting, plowing under old crop debris, mulching and seed treatment. Chemical fungicides may be used to control some common leaf diseases of tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and cantaloupes.
· If the garden is heavily infested with nematodes, either move the garden or heat the soil through a process called soil solarization.
· Use bio-sensitive insecticides as your first choice to treat for insect problems in the vegetable garden. Safer® insecticidal soaps will help control aphids and other soft-bodied insects early on. Malathion is a good all-round material for aphids and red spider mites, and gives some worm control. Carbaryl (Sevin®) is an effective material, especially for bean beetles, tomato and corn earworms, cucumber beetles and pickleworms. Bacillus thuringiensis or Bt (DiPel®, Thuricide®) is an excellent biological control for cabbage worm or cabbage looper.
· Put a couple of drops of mineral oil on corn silks within a week after they appear to prevent corn earworm.
· The cool, wet spring has caused the slugs and snails to grow into armies! Be alert to the damage they cause. Seek out and destroy!
· Check your roses for mildew, aphid, black-spot or other disease problems or insect infestations. If they appear, take steps to control them right away.
· Change the water in your bird bath regularly. Standing water may become a breeding ground for mosquito larvae.
· Bats can be an effective way to control insects. Attract bats by building and placing bat houses in your yard.
· Protect ripening berries from birds with nets or row covers.
· Weed removal is important for a number of reasons. It conserves moisture, conserves nutrients in the soil, and helps prevent the spread of disease and insects. The cool, wet weather of the spring has encouraged the germination of weed seeds, so they are a real problem in many gardens. It is critical these weeds be pulled, cultivated or eliminated before they have a chance to flower and go to seed again. Otherwise, you will be fighting newly-germinated weed seed for the next several years.
· June is the time to apply a fungicide to the lawn to control turf diseases like brown patch, dollar spot and others. Use products containing myclobutanil (Eagle®, Fertilome® F-Stop) and propiconazole (Banner®, Fertilome® Liquid Systemic Fungicide).
· Work around the heat and humidity (early morning, late afternoon or evening).
· Make sure the birds have fresh water.
· If you haven’t already, give your houseplants a summer vacation outdoors.
· Leftover vegetable and flower seeds may be stored in a cool dry location to be saved for planting next year.
· Keep up on deadheading for long-season bloom.
· Give the compost a turn.
· Stop harvesting asparagus and allow their foliage to mature.
· Replace cool-season flowers like pansies and crops like spinach that have bolted with the heat.
· Plant a new batch of bush beans every couple of weeks.
· Use bark mulch around young trees to protect them from lawn mower damage.
· When buying container-grown nursery stock, check the root ball to make sure it is not bound too tightly. A mass of circling roots will stay that way even after it is planted in the ground.
· If you do not have much room to landscape, consider using some of the many dwarf varieties available. These are plants that have slow growth and stay small, so there is little pruning maintenance. There are numerous dwarf evergreens, flowering trees and shrubs.
· The best time to harvest most herbs is just before flowering, when the leaves contain the maximum essential oils.
· Before pouring gasoline into the fuel tank of your lawn mower, garden tiller or other garden equipment, be sure to turn off the engine and allow it to cool for at least five minutes.
· Stake tall flowers to keep them from blowing over in the wind. Add a stake to each planting hole as you’re transplanting and tie the stem loosely to the stake as the plant grows.
· Keep tomato plants staked as they grow. Pinch out suckers.
· Tap your tomato plants to encourage more fruiting! Unlike many other types of plants, all tomatoes are self-pollinating and do not require another plant for pollination. While this typically results in tomatoes with no effort, hand pollinating will increase the number of tomatoes developing. Wait for a dry, sunny day between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is the time when the pollen production is most abundant and results in the greatest chance of success. Find the small, yellow flowers on the tomato plants that are fully open. With a pencil or other small stick, gently tap the stem above the bloom a couple of times. This process loosens the pollen in the flower stamen and transfers it to the pistil. Repeat the process and gently tap the stems of all remaining tomato flowers to ensure they are pollinated. To further increase the odds of pollination, repeat the tapping process as new blooms open.
· Allow one or two runners to develop from the most productive strawberry plants.
· At exactly noon, on June 15, set your sundial for 12 o’clock to get the most accurate time reading throughout the summer.
· Dethatching the lawn should wait until fall. However, there is still plenty of time to perforate (aerate) the lawn, if needed.
· Indeterminate tomato varieties continue to grow vines all season and benefit from suckering. Remove suckers sprouting from the stem up to the first flower cluster. This will promote earlier fruiting and keep the plants to a manageable plant size. ‘Celebrity’ and other determinate varieties will not sprawl as much and do not require suckering.
· Keep lawns mowed regularly, but do not set the blades too low. This is a common mistake, which leads to less vigorous growth and higher chance of disease.
· If landscaping is in your future, start with a plan drawn to scale on paper. Draw the property lines and locate the house, garage, trees and other permanent plantings. Then sketch in the additions you want to make like walks, terraces and flower gardens. Make a list of all things needing to be done. You’ll want to remove all overgrown or diseased plants or any in the way of construction.
· When shopping for trees and shrubs, check the root system and the color and "feel" of the foliage. Look for specimens with strong, vigorous growth and healthy leaves or needles. Well cared for plants generally have foliage that feels rigid and/or waxy to the touch. Dried out foliage will break and crumble when handled.
· Now is a great time to install a water garden. Water features will allow you to enjoy the soothing sights and sounds of water.
· Spruce up your summer landscape with beautiful color in containers. Be sure to use potting mix when planting and a water-grabbing polymer like Soil Moist to reduce the frequency of watering. Hibiscus, jasmine, oleander and mandevilla are just some of the flowering tropical plants you can add to your deck, patio or balcony.
· Keep the bird feeders filled!